A DUI Conviction and Employment: The Shocking Impact
After you’ve been arrested for a DUI, it’s understandable to have a lot of questions about the potential penalties and fines you’re facing. While you are weighing those consequences, you may not immediately think of how being arrested, charged with or convicted of a DUI in Colorado will impact your job, career path and employment options in the future.
Unfortunately, a DUI is one record stain that could cause you to lose your current job, keep some types of job out of your reach, and boost the odds that your resume will end up in someone’s recycle bin.
You can lose your job or not be considered for one legally
The main reason a DUI causes problems with employment is that it leaves you with a criminal record. These records are public, and any employer who does background checks as part of its hiring process will likely learn about your DUI, especially if it happened sometime over the previous ten years.
Some employers in Colorado won’t even reach the background check phase because of your DUI conviction. You may have been asked to provide details about a criminal conviction on the initial employment application or screener if the employer has fewer than 11 workers. When you disclosed your DUI at that point, you may have been taken out of the candidate pool right there.
Colorado did pass a “ban the box” law that doesn’t allow employers to ask prospective employees about criminal history on an initial application, but employers with fewer than 11 employees have until 2021 to comply with it. In addition, this law still doesn’t stop a prospective employer from doing a background check or from refusing to hire a person with a criminal conviction such as a DUI.
Some professions will be off of the table
People with DUI convictions are not allowed to work certain jobs under state and/or federal laws. Anything that involves operating heavy machinery, transportation or driving is usually out of the question. It’s considered a matter of safety and cost–an employer’s applicable insurance rates will go up if they hire some with a DUI to drive or operate heavy machinery.
If your job requires you to have a license by Colorado, you have to report your conviction for DUI to the licensing body. Depending on your job, the conviction can result in your license being revoked or suspended, regardless of what an employer decides.
Keep in mind that even if you are able to get a job or keep yours after being convicted for a DUI, it will be harder to get to work. Another way a DUI affects employment is by impacting your ability to legally drive. Your license will probably be suspended or revoked for a period of time.
While the laws do allow for exceptions related to employment while your license is suspended, there is no guarantee that you will be allowed that exception. Be sure to work with your lawyer in Denver, CO, who can help you file the paperwork required to gain an exception for driving to work while your license is on hold.
Thank you to the experts at Richard J. Banta, PC, for their insight into criminal defense and the law.